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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 19, 2011 10:45am-12:00pm EDT

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chicago. it always is. it's great especially on an actual nice day, you know, i was here -- i was here last week. it was 45 degrees. it was strange. so i have to tell you that this makes me tremendously, tremendously nostalgic. when the days when nobody came to my talks. and i always like to tell the story about my very first book event which took place when i was living in baltimore. it was just after i had published a book called "the naked consumer." [laughter] >> exactly, exactly. it's a book that nobody bought. nobody read. well, one guy read it and reviewed the book and hated it because he was a target of the book. he was -- he was -- his book was about by the way about how corporations spy on individual consumers, very apt today,
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perhaps. but so i did get a call, though, when i was living in baltimore to go up to lancaster, pennsylvania to do a talk -- not to do a talk, actually, just a signing. a straight signing. i since learned sunday afternoon talks are best. and especially when you do a talk in lancaster, pennsylvania the first day after a first warm winter. you see these people, right? there's a table. there's about 40 books on the table. and there you are. well, mercifully somebody at this bookstore had made a plate of chocolate chip cookies and put them next to me and i sat there and i was booked in for about three hours and i was booked for an hour and a half and nobody came to me and nobody made eye contact and, of course, nobody bought the book. at about the hour and a half
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point, i looked up and this woman was coming towards me with this big smile on her face. she's taking -- she just looks like she's taking the greatest delight in this event. i see her coming. i take my pen out, now i know my career is on its way. she comes up to the table and she says, how much are the cookies? [laughter] >> so the writer's life is not what you could imagine it to be. let me just first say here in this lovely venue, i'm a huge fan of libraries. i am not just bucking up when i say that. i like to think of myself the indiana jones of libraries, going down to the dewey decimal system of books which is created by melville dewy who was a rabid antisemite. in fact, i love libraries so
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much if you were -- if you were to give me a choice between a night with cate blanchett or a night locked alone in the library of congress, i would take the night with cate blanchett in a heartbeat, but -- [laughter] >> but i do love libraries. i do love libraries. and i thought i would talk a little bit about my book" in the garden of beasts" and how it came about and i'm alarmed in the publishing company crown which is my publishing company, people are inherently lazy they call the book now almost exclusively by its acronym, which is itgob which sounds like something a cat coughed up if you say itgob while growling you sound like possessed girl in the exorcist. [laughter]
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>> take that home with you. [laughter] >> at first glance it may not seem like my kind of book necessarily. here it is, this book is set in 1933, '34 in nazi germany. hitler, the whole deal. but here's the thing. this is exactly my kind of thing. because it is about a period that people, i certainly -- people think they know an awful lot about. but i would argue really don't. i certainly did not. there's a tendency, i think, to view the period 1933 to 1945 as one block of homogenous horror, war, holocaust and so forth when, in fact, there were distinct phases. first of all, the idea hunt for me as some of you may have heard me talk in the past is a very, very hard time.
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my publicist and friend refers to it as a dark country of no ideas. and when i'm in that dark country of no ideas, i get very moody, i get sort of annoyed with myself because i want to be productive. and i don't ever feel productive when i'm just sort of sitting around sucking my thumb thinking about what idea am i going to do next. and i was in this dark country of no ideas back about five or six years ago wondering what i'm going to go next, well, i'm going to go to the bookstore, browse the history section and kind of get a sense for myself of what books look interesting -- what resonates me. what covers turn me on and off and just to start my mind thinking of stuff. i saw a book thinking out as it my must-read list. 1200 pages, teeny type, no photographs. some of you thinking it's the
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bible. but in fact it was the rise and fall of the third reich. terrific book. i bought it. brought it home. better reading. it was like a thriller. i fell in love with this book. it was great if you set to fall in love with a book on the third reich but it really was a terrific book. you must be a little bit slow about things because it was only when i was about a third of the way through the book that i realized, wait a minute, william sheer had actually been there in 1933, '34. he had -- actually in '34. he had come to berlin in 1934 and pretty much stayed there as a correspondent but kicked out when the u.s. entered the war. i started to think, wow, what would that have been like. he met these people face-to-face he met hitler. he met all these people we know today to be monsters. only he met them at a time when nobody knew what the ending was going to be. he met them at a time when, you
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know, nobody had an inkling that the holocaust was coming down the pike. that the second war on terror was in the relatively near future. so i started thinking wouldn't it be interesting to try to capture a sense of that time through the eyes of a couple of characters who were new to berlin. outsiders ideally americans because i write for an american audience. so i very deliberately began to read. i went to my library, at the university of washington campus. and i just began to read. i took out as many terrific histories as i could. the grand histories and a series of books by richard evans and others. but also i found a lot in the
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900 levels, i found a lot of memoirs and diaries and so forth from that period and also before and after. eventually, i came across the diary of a chicago man named william e. dodd. and soon afterwards i found a memoir by his daughter martha. so let me try and set the scene. imagine that you are william e. dodd. you are 63 years old. you are a mild-mannered professor of history at the university of chicago. you have a good national reputation but you're no jackson turner. you are william e. dodd, professor of history, struggling in this time, with financial shortfalls because this is the era of the great depression. you are tired of the engulfing demands of graduate students. and all you really want to do is finish a book you've been working on. it's actually a multivolume
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series of books about the old south, which, in fact, kind of ironically you have titled "the rise and fall of the old south." suddenly, one very hot day in june you are sitting at your desk, this is 1933. you are sitting at your desk at noon precisely the phone rings. the guy at the other end of the line is franklin delano roosevelt, the new president of the united states, and one little note, he was president at that point since his inauguration in march in 1933 and inauguration day was still march. it was subsequently changed to january because the feeling was you didn't want to have a president be a lame duck for any longer than he absolutely had to be. so roosevelt is on the line and he asks you, would you be the
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next ambassador to germany? america's first ambassador of nazi germany, the post that nazi germany had been vacant at this point for about six months. here's the kicker. he gives you two hours to decide. he gives you two hours to decide. what he does not tell you is that one reason he has called you apart from the fact that a confidant of his had recommended you, apart from the fact that you know german, one reason he called you is that nobody wanted the job. three weeks later you find yourself on a ship to germany, leaving new york for hamburg. you've got your family with you. your wife, a grown son and your 24-year-old daughter martha. and martha is one heck of a
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daughter. she's the one who hooked me. she's smart. she's sexy, she's a flirt and she has this thing. she's got it. she has a way about her that inflames the passions of men both young and not so young. at 24 she has already had an affair with the poet and author carl sanberg. in fact, one of the delights -- this is why i always do my own research is that when i was going through martha's papers with the library of congress, in one file i came across two locks of carl sandberg's hair. in a a little clear plastic archival envelope tied with coats and clarks hair and his hair was really as white as it appeared and was really quite coarse, very thick coarse hair. it's a magical moment for me. [laughter]
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>> i'm just that way. at 24 she's had this affair with carl sandberg she has broken two engagements to be married and she is in the midst of a divorce to escape a dead marriage to a new york banker. now, personally, i think any marriage to a new york banker would be said but i don't want -- i don't want to cast any aspersions dude to -- she's very close friends with thornton wilder so she's got a very interesting kind of circle. she comes along to berlin for the adventure and immediately falls in love, falls in love with the so-called nazi revolution. she calls it the nazi revolution. she finds it intoxicating at first. and here's the thing, she was not alone. this was a fairly common viewpoint in 1933. the argument was you could quarterly with hitler's methods -- you could quarrel
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with his methods but on the other hand he was restoring the nation's pride, helping to get its act together, promising to drastically reduce unemployment and seeming by year's end to be delivering on that promise. in fact, the night before the dodds left new york, they all gathered there in order to catch their ship. they went to a dinner party at the very swank apartment of a fellow named charles r. crane of the crane plumbing dynasty. you men out there and may not realize but i'm sure you have seen the crane logo staring up from you at urinals. i can't speak for the lady's room. charles crane has this party -- as the party is winding down, dodds are leaving, charles crane takes the new ambassador aside and says to him, let hitler have
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his way. he also advises dodd very directly not to have any social interaction with jews while he's in berlin. now, let's look through the world through martha's eyes. she finds herself in a vibrant charismatic city. we always think of that world, at least i certainly did, as drab, black and white, shaded in grays merely because that's the kind of imagery we come across. we see black and white photographs, we see news reels. i mean, there are some color images that have surfaced but for the most part it seems like a black and white world. it seems like there wasn't a bright sunny day in germany since 1965 when coda chrome became the film of choice. she saw something very different than this black and white world. she saw color everywhere. trams, the brightly color trams which ran on all the main streets like toys.
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every balcony had a box of red geraniums or seemed to at least. at christmas the city went wild. there were christmas lights everywhere. christmas trees of every square. christmas trees on every square corner so much so that dodd was moved to write you would almost believe that the nazis believed in jesus. there were glorious cafes that sat hundreds of people every time and there was dancing at night like at the roof of the hotel edens and this this very interesting establishment called house vatterland in berlin. it was a five-story structure that had five restaurant/nightclub venues in it. one of which was an american wild west bar. this was in nazi germany, because, an american airlines wild west bar where germans in these huge cowboy cats would serve you cocktails and some of these germans were part of a
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nazi party and it was a nice thoughts -- these nazi cowboys were serving you drinks. it appealed to me at any rate. [laughter] >> so here we have an ambassador, ambassador dodd, arriving in germany as a professor of history from his studies. he arrives with a certain expectation. he has studied statesmen and they act crazy but they act like statesmen and he alsos arrives bearing a certain amount of pleasant baggage. back in the 1890s, like many students, he traveled to germany to complete his education, to do post-graduate education he went to leipzig to work on his ph.d. thesis, which i don't even want to think of the logistical nightmare which was about thomas jefferson. he's in leipzig. he has a wonderful time. the germans are marvelous sweet young people. ..
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and here is his daughter who, in effect trough falls in love at first. i realize that the two stories provided an ideal vehicle for traveling through that time. i would not have wanted to write about william dodd alone. i'm not a fan of diplomatic histories. i would not have wanted to write
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only about martha, i'm not sure i could sustain an entire book. the two together captured something much bigger, i think. both provide convergence windows, and both undergo a very satisfying just permission in the course of that very first year, which is what most of the action, summer of 33-summer of 34 when something quite horrific occurs. the united states and the rest of the world should have paid much more attention but failed to do so. so i realize that the stories released satellite if you are looking for a lot more fundamental reason for doing this story. they shed light on why it took so long for america and the world to our real to -- to realize the true danger of hitler and why appeasement became the first path to deal with these people.
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it surprised me. and this may not come as a surprise to certain people. to me it was a shock. the extent and intensity this edison to susan and the united states and also within the upper ranks of the state department itself, below the level of the secretary. i was really startled. of course he tried to imagine the perfect guy to be secretary of state at this time. he has some quirks. one was his passion for croquet. and he had a speech impediment. he had a speech impediment. the people around him likened to the cartoon character elmer five. which led roosevelt to hand of a lively sense of fun.
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when hall was not around here would quietly mock his speech impediments. if he was referring to his trade treaties he would refer to them as is played to ease. apollo and the top three guys in the state department all had a healthy, if not outright hatred and distaste for jews. one referred to them openly and readily as cakes. without -- dies himself expressed a certain amount of anti-semitism. one release startling dispatched back in the state department he complains that he had too many shoes and a staff. to many jews on his staff which was impairing his ability to deal with the nazi regime. particularly his receptionist who was absent the lower of the nazi picture.
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this woman sitting at the entry as last -- nazi officials consider. firstly, i think it is just amazing. so you have katie complaining about too many jews on his staff. also one very strange conversation. there are too formal meetings he has. at the second one he actually tries to find common ground with heather on the so-called jewish problem. the nazis have hijacked the debate by framing it as a jewish problem. words matter. once you frame something as a jewish problem, what else do you think about? how do you solve that problem. so it was a jewish problem. you know, we have our own jewish problem in america that we have chosen to solve in a more humane fashion by which she is referring to things like universities and so forth.
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this, by the way, does not nullify his. he gets all seemed to begin. he just loses it completely. he says, effigies don't stop this i will put an end to all of them. this is 1934. long before the holocaust. in 1934 you get the first with of what was coming down the pipe. i was also struck by how knew everything was. all of the things that today we know as absolute trope of the nazi era were unfamiliar back then. for example, wind gauge you first saw it, he was astonished at how ridiculous and seemed. this was ridiculous. there was this was to go which was so new at this point that in the embassy was not referred to as dispositive but the broken
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clocks. the hitler salute. and not try to do a. it still has a jarring effect. i would be a little bit concerned that if i did somebody would take it is a photograph and put it on the web. no go viral, and suddenly i would have a lot of new friends and i don't necessarily want. the salute was so novel that the council's general of dodd in berlin, man named george mr. smith, not to be confused with billy messerschmitt, the aircraft designer. american through and through and hated the nazis. happily, happily mr. smith treated the third reich the way
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in anthropologist would treat an aboriginal tribe. as to say he wrote in detail and about life, but all kinds of things. this was brand new. this was to give itself was not a brand new thing because i personally owned a collection of the words of robert kipling, and every work on his binding as a swastika because it is the indian good luck sign. as a political symbol. it back to the hitler salute. so so long on so many subjects. big name to 40 pages. he wrote an analysis, a series of observations about the hitter a salute because this was such a novel thing. now read it briefly. the salute, he wrote, had no modern presidency for the more
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narrowly required solution of soldiers in the presence of superior officers. everyone was expected to salute, even in the most mundane of encounters. shopkeepers to lose customers. so there are required to salute their teachers several times a day. the close of theatrical performances a newly established custom demand that audiences stand and salute as they sang the german national anthem and the storm trooper and them. the german public so avidly embraced the salute as to make the active in sicily saluting almost comical, especially in the corridors of public buildings or everyone from low lowliest official to the loftiest to grill wok to the men's room. my hope is to capture a sense of the gradual darkening. had this vision has two
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characters in a nonfiction grimm brothers' fairy tale. he enters a dark wood, and things get darker and darker and darker. q. the wizard of oz song, lions and tigers and bears. moving into the darkness of the third reich. so i talk about, for example, how bought saw -- was given secret graphs of feature nazi laws, not laws yet, but grass of things coming, including one that shocked him, a little translation of his document being the law for the killing of incurable spirited another of those foreshadowing of what was to come. also many loves, including a very interesting character who i think encapsulates the
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complexity and nuance of this time. this was a very complex time. the scare was rudolph, the first chief of the then brand new agency called the gestapo. the first chief of the gestapo. he held the job for all of one year. he was replaced by the really awful characters. the deals with an unusual character. here he presided over this anti that had caused the imprisonment of thousands of communists and social democrats for the political party. had presided over an agency that had tortured hundreds of these people. likely murdered. and yet the diplomatic community
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does of him. he had a lot of integrity as third reich officials went. he was the guy you went to. if you wanted to get american out of style he would have obliged. a very interesting guy. he is the one who led, who agitated the christmas amnesty of 1933 that let a lot of prisoners out of camps and so forth in germany. he later claimed that was one of the finest moments of his career, when he got to choose to get to go. so very interesting character who might to had seen very clear at this point. at charming photograph. martha and their chief of the gestapo are sitting at a table in a lovely little outdoor love
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restaurant having the grandest time. i just found that kind of magical. here is this evil character with, you know, the daughter of the ambassador, american ambassador. i like also, one of the things, just as hall was the perfect embodiment of the secretary of state, if you were try to imagine what kind of bill and would run something like the gestapo, you would imagine rudolph. dark, lean, with a horribly scarred face, lower part of his face, start by practice to allow the students of his era engaged in. their belief. the point being a doctor who is sitting in on the bill, everybody gets its up, and that was the end of it. these were a badge of strength.
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the thing about deals is he was considered to be a real catch. handsome in a dark, starred way. look at the photograph and alitalia. you might believe me. he was said -- said to be sexually charismatic. he was a charmer. and, you know, i've shown this picture to a number of women in seattle, most recently to a book editor and photographer. everyone looks at the sky and goes, yap. not bad. not bad. also, by the way, the gestapo. one way that they summon people, there would do it by postcard. says he would get this postcard saying, could you come to gestapo headquarters on such and such state and such and such
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time. you would like to talk to you. you had no choice. but were you going to do? and the reason there were a lot of these postcards going out was because the german populace had become so anxious to fall into line to become coordinated, to fall into line with the eat those of the nazi party in the third reich. they would announce neighbors who had not be paved in a coordinated fashion. they would also denounce neighbors because it would resolve petty personal disputes. if you didn't like the way your neighbor was giving up his or her house you drop a dime on him are. there would come and pay you a visit because they followed up on just about everything. in fact even heather complained.
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he said, this is what he told his justice message. he said we are living at present in the sea of denunciations' and human demons. anyway, i'm very happy to report that they get it. what i'm finding is there is this narrative tension that you all bring to the book, this idea that we all know is happening. here are these people. you just want to say don't go into the basement. i'm just saying. basically going to sleep one night. weeping from a nightmare. weeping from a nightmare in which she was being pursued by not cease. all she had to protect their was
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her though purple plastic water bottle. now, i have to say that the viking give somebody nightmares besides my wife, if i can give somebody nightmares i consider that from under standpoint of victory. i'm going to stop there and take questions. i hope you have a lot of questions. if you don't, i have questions for you. [applause] [applause] questions? and that think the point is you have to go down to the microphone. we have c-span recording this. people are either leaving our other going to ask the question.
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okay. you first. yes. >> my name is tracy. first of all, i was just curious. as far as your writings, has there ever been an 97 researching and writing for a book and the of a sudden decided, yeah, this isn't going to work? >> yes. second question. >> what was it about? >> i want to read you what it's about because you never know. just recently at having been. i had an idea that since i have all the right elements. looking into it. looking into it. added know anything about the spirit of these great characters. something missing. i worked on that for a long time. i realized i think the best way to put it is it lacked heart. it lacked hard.
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so i'm not sorry and i'm glad it's dead. so the question. thank you. >> the book yesterday evening. >> did you wake up crying? >> what strikes you as the most surprising thing you're done for research. the fact that there was less than 1 percent of jewish people in germany. the impression is this is an overriding issue. you mentioned that demand also the fact that don was not recording all of the attacks on americans. no idea. so those things surprised me. we will surprise you with their research? he said we think we know this era, but we don't. what's a couple of things. and you know, is there for anybody to know. really first made the point. only about 1% of germans were, in fact, jewish. also probably not well known and
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should be well known that most of the victims of the holocaust were not german, but were from the east and country and resources gully invaded by the nazis. only about 1% of germans were jews. one. , for most of germany is whole anti-semitic thing was really kind of an abstract concept because typically the average german had little or no contact with jews. these are concentrated in big cities. in know, typical rural germans had either no contact with jews or literally contact, and it was almost invariably find. so this whole anti-semitic bank was meant for the like believers and party members and so forth. somebody who wants to look into that more. check out some of his works. so i was impressed by that kind of thing as well. at the level of anti-semitism and the state departments is what i found most startling.
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his efforts to keep these attacks on americans from making the press i found really startling. the point was he was trying to our -- he was trying not to antagonize the germans in is not a belief that he could actually use persuasion and reason to help hitler find and the government find a more moderate way to go they keep. >> i am curious about obstacles that you might have encountered in your research andy's the german? access to the archives. >> yes. i was concerned. obviously asking about obstacles. german, as it happens, was not an obstacle. i don't speak german. and did have a chance of their work with me for chance that the
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german documents including the our variety of autobiography called lucifer at the gates. he didn't mind being called lucifer. he thought it added to his mystique. i did have a chance weather. what i wanted to concentrate on was the point of view of might to americans entering this world. that led me to a tremendous troves of documents like the congress of the national archives and the wisconsin historical society in madison wisconsin. the main obstacle, the same my face in any book. finding material. we have to go the distance to find the material. i love going to berlin and seeing what is there now but also getting a feel for her will and settle things. for example, up one thing i did not know or appreciate and would not have known is how close
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everything -- all the action in this book takes place around the central part in berlin. the little translation is garden of tears. so all of the places that are important to the action, actually around the eastern corridor. what i've learned by going there was that everything was so close together, just a matter of a 15 minute walk for to hitler's chancellery. i don't know why that was important, but it was. everything is so compact. berlin is a very fine city. the first time i opened my hotel window and looked out over berlin and the garden the first thing a pops into my mind as corpus christi. i don't know why. just a very flat. it's berlin.
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so anyway. >> some very big fan of years. we all feel truly gifted to partaken your stories. very wonderful. >> i'm sorry. >> i have a feeling that it will be considered one of the century's greatest books. i just started reading your new book. i just wanted to ask you as a writer. you have a very engaging manner. just listening to you talk. it comes very naturally to you. how difficult is to be a really
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good writers such as yourself. the sturgeon and along the way. i mean, you talk about the keys to the table. it to relief feel like you knew you could do this? , a great storyteller. along the way you encountered doubts of yourself. i'm just curious. >> harmelin. >> your stories are so engaging. i feel like you're talking to me when i'm reading. it's a wonderful feeling. your marvelous. i love that. encounter discourage men along the way. >> i'll address that. in fact, i'm going to let my daughter address that.
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please tell the audience the reality. this is my daughter. serous the university of chicago. >> i live with them, all the time. what he does is he works full 48 morning. then he worries the rest of the day. >> thank you. that's enough. [applause] >> it is true. that is, in fact, true. self-taught is something that i have to deal with all the time. i like to think that it drives me to really hunt for stories that other kind of thing that i'm going to like and that people, other people are actually going to like. i sure as hell wish there was some of which i could take that to give me one day while was not afraid that something was going
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to be a bomb. case in point, it's a step things. on the eve of the publication i was convinced, i was convinced that my career was over. because this was a book that had to narratives that never intersected, broke all the rules. they do intersect and one small point. and so there you go. there you go. i had similar fears for this one. there you go. >> you test a little bit of bonn anti-semitism. i was not aware that the ambassador was a professor of history. he was a professor of history. i guess my question is, did he have any kind of historical inkling of anti-semitism in germany? when you go back and read martin luther camino, he doesn't have
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nice things to say in budgies. this the kind of have any sense of the history of anti-semitism? >> a good question he did have a sense that anti-semitism had be prevalent. in the sense that a lot of times in terms of anti-semitism, not these kind of drop-in. but they did drop in from mars, but it had nothing to do with anti-semitism. antisemitism has been, you know, a theme in germany for a long time and in other cultures as well. but, what is interesting of the same time is that dog was able to ignore his own tendencies to be anti-semitic.
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and so i know i don't have any reason to be uncomfortable. you see evidence of this. some of these guys knowing that their diaries might someday become public are very clear and direct about their dislike of jews. another question? over there. >> thank you very much for your time and powerful presentation to you think that dodd was the right person for the position of director you find yourselves in the buzzing with his struggles and maybe it lack of otherwise action on confronting the nazis? >> that is a good question. you know, starting with the idea that it was the kind of a position that nobody could have done anything terribly productive.
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nobody could have persuaded him to do otherwise. i do have to say that given his mandate roosevelt sent him there with the fundamental mission to serve as a standing example of american liberal values. dodd did that. he never set up to the nazis, never came again. he held true to that mandate much to the absolute and millions of the third reich. he really ticked him off just by refusing to give on those fundamental principles and ultimately i don't want to throw out any spoilers in terms of the book. i do think the tendency by historians to overlook that as a failed ambassador, i don't think that is at all correct. i think if i had to give him a letter great given the
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circumstances i would give him a b plus. >> one more. >> this is it. >> i don't know. i really love your book. i understand there is a film coming out. two questions about what your level of involvement is and if you are concerned about often when they make movies about book, it's into hollywood eyes in. >> a great question. the option was brought by lee are the gabrielle. ultimately get off the ground. knows screenplay as yet. my involvement is going to be minimal. i am trying with the tom wolfe
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of parts to hollywood. you bring your booked, take the bag of money, and ryan. [applause] [applause] because hollywood, if you are a writer was to have any control hollywood will, no question, will break your heart. hollywood will break your heart. so it really comes down to win he decides to sign over an option. you make a decision at that point, do i want this to happen are not. yes. i think it will be interesting. at this point of want to see what talented filmmakers and actors will make up as books, particularly interested in what the music is going to be it goes with. to place the victims. i'm voting for scarlett johansson. and kate planchette. so many ways, that is where -- their will be of bill -- a
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movie, and that is the level of of of of of want. the bank you all for coming. i will sign anything. [applause] [applause] >> for more and permission to mothers be out this website, erik larson books dot com. >> "eye of the hurricane: my path from darkness to freedom" with a foreword by nelson mandela. uriko author is ten. >> that is correct. >> my main purpose in rising this book is to share with you that i have discovered the truth but the love of truth is the spirit of man. given where allies and for how long i was there, i have no
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business at all being here now. >> is absolutely correct. >> you say you were in jail 40 something years. what you mean by that? >> well, i was in jail 47 years. the fact that we are born into a prison actually, when we are born we are born as perfect beings. perfect being complete with all our possibilities intact. we are also born into a world of sleep as people, the level of insanity where hate and war and death and destruction and inequality reign supreme. so we are actually born into a prison. so i was in that prison for the first four years of my life until i was able to wake up and get out of that prison and realize who i really am. >> host: let's come to who you really are in a second.
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for the viewers sake let's say that you were incarcerated in prison for about 20 years, 1964 or five. >> guest: 1966-85. >> host: 66-85. >> guest: that's correct. >> host: the charge was having murdered three people and wounded one in a bar. >> guest: yes. to be accused of murder is bad enough, but to be accused of being a triple racist murderer is doubly bad. that is what i was accused of being, racist. >> host: wire race is? >> guest: because all white people were killed. >> host: and that you target them because of their race? >> guest: because of their race. a bike parts and there have been killed by white men in another part of town that night. they thought this was racial revenge. but you also have to realize at that time in 1966, early 60's
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when the country was still segregated. black folks weren't allowed to eat in restaurants or go to school with a drink of water fountains or evil have -- even have equal voting rights. that was what was going on in this country at that time, which is a terrible thing. and so that is what i was accused of being, a triple racist murder said the one you write about growing up in a household that really was violent and difficult to, facing your father across the living room with shotguns. >> guest: my family life was not violent. the violence was outside the family life. you have to realize that in many this may i will be 74 years old. some mother and father come from a generation where they thought
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that if a child put his hands on his parents or even threaten to parents since they brought you into this world it will take you out of this world as well. that was the type of society that i grew up in. >> host: describe why you would be facing your father with a shotgun and he with a shotgun facing you? >> guest: well, i was a very angry young man at the time. very angry. and i had confronted my brother. my brother who was a highly successful academic. he was going to harvard. he was one of the youngest to graduate from harvard university with a phd. he later became a superintendent of the schools a boston. i was in and out of a former tory schools during my youth.
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so, you know, my father had this sort of choose between which one he would support. i confronted my brother because when i came home to military in 1956i heard that my brother was hanging out with homosexuals. he had known how woman with children growing up. now, when we were children all of these folks dressed up as halloween -- on halloween like women. and for now he was on vacation from harvard university. they were doing the same thing. i confronted my brother about that, and we started the fight. the course i beat him up. the edison my father got, that is when my father got involved. my father jumped me because of that. i pushed my father away and told him don't put his hands on me. i would allow no one to put
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their hands on me in anger anymore. my father ran and got his shotgun, and i ran and got my shotgun. this was the same thing that happens to marvin gaye and his father. that is why his father shot and killed him. had it not been for my mother my father would have killed me as well. >> host: because your mother intervened and said you should go out of here. >> guest: getaway. >> host: what is interesting, you just describe yourself as technically having been in jail for 20 years, 66-85. but the violence and the world of hatred that you described, that has really been in jail for you for 40 plus years until you discover yourself. let me read again from your book. this is an interesting moment is you say you will be 74 years old. you have been in jail, but you also read here, i was a prizefighter, soldier, a
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convict, a jailhouse lawyer. executive director of a group that was called defense of the wrongly convicted. today your ceo of the innocents international group. >> guest: ps. >> host: and says but if i had to choose an epitaph to be carved on my tombstone. remember, this is riven hurricane carter. it would simply read that he was just enough. this came because somebody in nuys school audience ask you what you would want for your epitaph. now, you are a man that bob dylan wrote a song about. nelson mandela wrote a foreword to this book and spoke about you as someone. he loves boxing. are rumored to have hon talking to me. >> guest: he is a boxer himself. >> host: the new tax on someone like him who was in jail and has come out of it. here is nelson mandela, bob
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dylan to my tony bennett. these you will have all money. now comes time for you to speak about yourself. now for your epitaph, just enough to have the courage to stand up for is conviction no matter what problem. he was just enough to perform a miracle to wake up in the state the universal prison to regain his humanity and living hell. he was just enough. just enough. so when people hear this, just enough, i'm sure there will be thinking to themselves, well, just enough to get off or just enough to escape or survive? why not to make something bolder? >> in a virtually. that is what that means. we're all universally just enough. we are born with everything that we need to wake up and to become
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conscious. that is just enough. >> you can watch this and other programs on-line ads booktv.org. on the go. afterwards is available via ipod cast your eye tins that extra mile. visit book tv got sort. listen to "after words" while you travel. >> sam brower,. >> the self-proclaimed prophet of the fundamentalist church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. he followed in his father's footsteps in the process before him and kind of took that religion and its idiosyncrasies to new levels and new heights.
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>> host: what he mean by that? >> guest: they practiced polygamy for one thing. it is illegal in all 50 states. >> host: illegal. >> guest: illegal in all 50 states. and because of that i think it is an outcropping of that, there is this caste system of marion underage to little girls. it is kind of a reward system that has been going on now -- while, when morning came into power in 3,002, started mushrooming and getting worse and worse and worse. >> host: you say he came into power. how did that happen? pc when he was a young man he was kind of this odd duck. he was his father's favorite
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son. his father took a shine to him. dozens of sons. took a shine to one. one was made headmaster of their private school system and may still warm his way into the position of next to his father. when his father started becoming ill he said having a series of strokes. one, he was able to kind of maneuver himself into the positions power, kind of like a medieval power structure. he was able to move himself and. when his father died he was the gatekeeper for is father. leave himself. >> guest: where is warring? >> guest: in jail and eldorado
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taxes. for the force -- and the past two years he as been moving around from one prison to another to another. he was convicted in utah of being an accomplice to rape. that conviction was overturned on a technicality in utah by the utah supreme court which is in my opinion and shameful decision that should never have happened. >> guest: the epitome of a bad decision. a lawyer would understand it, perhaps. the jurors had no clue that anything was wrong. he was overturned on a technicality. and then he went to arizona. arizona, his attorneys fought it for years in arizona.
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after about two years finally the victims grew tired of it. he had charges waiting for him in taxes that are more serious than the arizona charges. and so he was extradited to texas. that is where he is that now. in texas awaiting charges on very serious felony charges on child abuse. >> host: sam brower, what is the fundamentalist church of latter-day saints and its connection if any. >> guest: of the turn-of-the-century, there was a group of people that when polygamy was outlawed and banned
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it felt like that was something that didn't want to participate in. a small group of people that left their religion and were excommunicated. from there it just started growing. bits and pieces of the time. and so it has become a test. the early corrupts. in my opinion is an organized crime syndicate. professionalizes in child abuse and underage to marriages. >> host: how many followers? >> guest: between ten and 15,000 followers. hard to put an exact number on it. basically keeping very poor records purposely. have their own doctors and clinics with chisel are born. they shy away from hospitals because that is where records are kept.
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that is where they can be discovered in their secrets can be discovered. they stay away from mainstream hospitals. they set up their own hospitals and doctors and resources, midwives are giving birth. actually when there was a raid in texas they found birth certificates that work in various stages of being filled up. some were just blank. some names and dates that suited them or phil then. so the records are not very good. some are bogus. so it is hard to put a number on how many exactly there are, but they're all over the country. >> host: what is your involvement of the fundamentalist church of latter-day saints?
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>> guest: i became involved as a private investor who had actually taken the case involving one of the numbers who was being excommunicated. just piqued my interest is something unusual. i was not from southern utah. kind of an outsider in the area. i was curious about it. but i found shocked me. you know, it was just like driving up the mac. no place else in the country. when i talked to people about it, they just don't believe the someplace like that could exist here. without a doubt it was the most lawless town in this country. and it really piqued my interest. when a set of becoming involved and working cases as studded finding out about these
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atrocities, things that are supposed to happen in america. people being kicked out of their homes and told that they cannot come back and they cannot talk to their families. they cannot even visit their families. and then i was asked by a prominent baltimore attorney who worked on civil cases involving child abuse. and what i've found their was just unbelievable. i interviewed two young men who had grown up in their religion. one nephew. he had abused them, rape and sodomized them, between the ages of five and seven years old. that experience, to me, was what
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really turned the tide for me. that was the experience of solidifying. somebody has to do something. the word has to get out. that was a lot of my motivation for hearing the question and for pursuing this with such vigor. get the word out. people know that there is something. this horrible caliber going on in our country. >> host: we are hearing the issue of freedom of religion. you know, the freedom of religion issue. >> guest: is an issue. in reality the freedom of religion is there wild card. what they do has nothing to do with religion. i mean, unless, unless religion,
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it's okay for religion to let the children, unless it is okay for her up profits to take a little 12-year-old girl by the hands and take her into a temple and perform a ritualistic rape on her. in my mind that is not religion, that is criminal behavior. and so the biggest hurdle, the hardest part of dealing with this and getting law enforcement to deal with it committing government entities and agencies and politicians to deal with that is to overcome that religion. able to cover their activities under the smokescreen of religion. that is all it is. they know that it works. laura knows that it works. and they have done really well
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in clucking that illegal activity and their religion. i mean, if this was a covenant of satan worshipers the question would never even. you know, covenant satan worshipers going out and ripping the liberals, they know there would be going to jail. somehow this so-called religion it will to mask and cover up their activities. it is our constitutional right to do this. where did they get their money? the money comes off the backs of thousands of workers that believe that they're doing the right thing and are involved in the religion of ancestors. they are involved in something that they have been brought up in, the cultural thing more than a religion.
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they are in construction. they are in manufacturing. i would say probably a majority of the money comes right out of the facts. it is from public-works projects. millions of dollars worth of public works projects in las vegas. even back east. even here becky's to. their manufacturing. they produced top-secret government projects for military. they worked on the latest generation of that vision is being used overseas right now. that challenger disaster was a product. so they are involved in many different areas. there deal for raising money is
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more than just about money. it is a religious calling. and so they're very good at it. they're very good at putting civilians and millions of dollars. the preface to your book was written by john speck how. he is a friend. i got to know him when i began working on the book. john had done research on his book. i guess that both of us working in this same area kind of brought us together. we just kind of clicked in have been working together since. he was great help for me. it is a bit dangerous to be out there doing the kind of work. john was a good back up and help for me. somebody that i could depend on. so we traveled all around the
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country and worked quite a bid. and he was passed the learning curve. very complex. very hard to get to learn and understand everything that goes on with them. so john was passed the learning curve. he was very helpful to me. >> host: where was this taken? >> guest: short creek at vermilion clef right in the edge of town. a couple of the police as women that are strolling through there, the park area there. >> host: are either you or john krakow are mormon, and could this be considered an anti mormon book? >> guest: i am. john is not.
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as far as -- i don't feel that this is an anti mormon but in any way. the fldsr nothing. nonmoral and all. they have chosen to distance themselves. they don't practice any of the release. the only thing they really have going on is they believe in some of the same. but they have taken their armed taken spin on it. you know, i think a lot of the outside world tends to group the two together. mormons are no more and sell the s and lutheran or catholic. i mean, the lutherans chose to separate themselves from the catholic church there are their
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own religion. >> host: sam brower. this is his book, after one, it comes out october 2011 published problems were. >> coming up next, book tv presents "after words," an hour-long program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week former secretary of state henry kissinger. the diplomat to accompany president nixon presents his thoughts on the history of china's relationship with the united states and its current employees of american politics and monetary policy. he shares his perspective with former nixon aide and fox news contributor monica crowley. >> dr. kissinger, great to see you, sir. as always.

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